Growers optimistic about new season

John, left, and Paul Schuler on their farm near Lexington / CIFN photo.

LEXINGTON – Many growers such as the Schuler family near Lexington share a sense of optimism heading into another growing season.

Paul Schuler farms with his sons, John and David, throughout Central Illinois and they have been prepping equipment and organizing seed ahead of planting time.

“It hasn’t been the worst winter really,” admits Paul. “We moved some grain and stayed on top of things.”

Farmers experienced a really good fall last year giving them time to catch up on extra fieldwork like fertilizer and anhydrous ammonia applications. The Schulers are trying to do more tile work this spring.

“We’ll see what Mother Nature throws at us,” said John.

The Schulers are in a 50-50 rotation of primarily non-GMO corn and soybeans. This will be their sixth year for non-GMO soybeans and third year on corn. They plan to utilize new chemical chemistries this year.

“The weeds are always an issue and we’ve had to rotate some fields out of non-GMO beans so we’ll have some traited beans this year,” John added.

Paul acknowledges there are always concerns over the weather when it comes to agriculture. The nice dry fall led to drier subsoil over the winter but he is holding out hope for good weather and good crops in 2021.

“I’m kind of excited to get this crop in the ground. With the prices up a little higher, I think everybody’s mood is going to be better and if we could grow a good crop, we’d have some good returns for the year.”

Raising showpigs is another task on the Schuler farm – a venture mainly headed by David although everyone pitches in the help out. They had 34 litters over the winter and have around 35 sows, selling to 4-H kids around the area and even out of state. With many youth missing out on showing last summer due to COVID, the Schulers hope the county and state fairs will resume like normal in the coming months.

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